During times of stress we all have low moments and our thoughts can go to dark places. In these times of mindfulness and gratitude, is it ever okay to not be okay?
As a member of Kiwi society I am proud of the fast action taken by our government to slow the spread of Corvid-19 and I totally support the lockdown and appreciate the fact that we can come together as a nation and follow some basic, if at times challenging, rules that will ultimately serve the health of our country well.
However, as the owner of a small business I must also confess to having days of worry and concern about the future. There is still work being done. The lockdown has been a strong reminder that great, high quality work can be achieved remotely. Oddly I've done more work in Auckland this month than in the last year - remote works. There is however a lot less workflow than usual and, whilst cost savings can be found, the fixed costs of our lives and of running a business remain. There are no shortage of people in my immediate network who are uncertain about the impact the coming months might have on their livelihood. Like me, many have mortgages to pay, costs to cover, family to support and colleagues they care about also impacted by the slow down.
Whilst I read and appreciate all the messages about gratitude, learning and mindfulness, my own mind is not always in that mode. I worry sometimes. I fret about the future. I feel concern about meeting my various obligations. I'm certain I'm not the only one having those moments.
I trained as a psychotherapist and am generally a together sort of person. There are moments however that I don’t feel okay and my message is this.
It is okay not to be okay all the time. It is okay to reach out and share the fact that some days are a struggle and that sometimes our minds will go to those dark places of worry. Having low times does not make you a professional victim, a broken human being or a bad person.
Many of my network are the leaders, the carers, the HR professionals, coaches and business owners who are often relied upon to be the providers of support to others. It is important for us not to only live in the role of carers but to also be cared for. Don’t be afraid to reach out to your own people, support network and significant others. Talk about your worries, fears and concerns. As the adage goes, bravery isn’t the absence of fear or uncertainty – bravery is facing the fear and still finding ways to move forward. You may not find all the answers - but you will likely be better off as a result of sharing how you feel.
Kia Kaha? Absolutely. Be strong. Be confident. Stand tall. But also, don’t be afraid to be vulnerable. Be honest with yourself. Be okay needing to hug and be hugged in return. Allow yourself to feel those moments of sadness and loss. It's okay.
I like all the messages we are seeing on LinkedIn and other social media about being kind to people. We should always be kind - no matter what. You don’t know what other may be experiencing. Kindness shouldn’t be conditional or only reserved for others so remember to also be kind to yourself.
Sometimes, not being okay is okay too.
By: Rob Bishop - 13 April 2020